Atlanta’s MedTech Scene Is Expanding. Here’s Who You Need To Know.

The bottom level of an office building on Peachtree Road houses a startup reshaping our views on hearing. Inside a nondescript industrial building off 14th Street is a team making surgeries safer. And up in Peachtree Corners, there is an office filled with a team rethinking anemia testing.

Zoom in on Atlanta’s map and you’ll quickly realize just how many impressive medical device startups have set up shop in town.

Local MedTech startups building everything from pediatric tools to wearable sensors are catching national attention and investment dollars. But what’s behind the city’s MedTech growth? Talk to founders, investors, and ecosystem builders in town, and you’ll hear one word over and over again: Collaboration.

Dr. Wilbur Lam (from LinkedIn)

Atlanta has the “raw materials” to make it a national MedTech leader, says Silicon Valley transplant Dr. Wilbur Lam, Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University and Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. The city has a premiere medical school, a top biomedical engineering program, and large healthcare systems focused on patient innovation. But institutional collaboration is something unique to Atlanta, according to Lam. He said there is now a tangible “push from every level” to make Atlanta a leader in commercialization, medical technology, and therapeutic development.

The partnerships forged between Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta cannot be overstated, Lam told Hypepotamus.

“That’s something unique you can’t find in the Bay Area or Boston,” Lam added.

MedTech veteran Martin Williams has witnessed the local MedTech scene grow significantly since he moved back a year and a half ago from the West Coast. As he works on scaling his new venture in the rheumatology space, he pointed to events like the Bioentrepreneurship Networking Happy Hour, hosted at Emory every month, as signs of “collaborative networks” being created across the city.



One startup that has benefited from the city’s collaborative nature is StrideLink, a wearable sensor startup. Co-founders Marzeah (Zea) Khorramabadi, Cassandra McIltrot, and Neel Narvekar met at Georgia Tech and started working on a device that “measures changes in someone’s gait and walking abilities” without the need for a patient to come into a lab or a healthcare facility.

That is particularly important for post-stroke victims, orthopedic surgery patients, or those with neurological conditions.

The team went through Create-X, one of Georgia Tech’s entrepreneurial programs, landed its first pilot program at Emory Orthopedics, and raised a $750,000 pre-seed round from healthcare-focused angels in Atlanta and the wider Southeast region.

The device was listed with the FDA last year. Now in 2024, the team is focused on bringing its product to “strategic customer sites” and raising its seed round.

While none of StrideLink’s co-founders are originally from Atlanta, Khorramabadi said the team is dedicated to building here.

“There’s just been a lot of resources and support that we’ve been able to tap into,” she added.

Local collaboration is something that helped Jackson Medical successfully spin out from Georgia Tech. Co-founder and CEO James Rains credits local organizations like GCMIthe Center for MedTech Excellence, VentureLab, GRA, and Biolocity for helping its safety device, GloShield, gain traction.

The small but mighty silicone tool helps surgeons prevent all-too-common fires from happening on the operation table. Kamil Makhnejia, Jackson Medical’s VP of Clinical Development, said the goal is to make GloShield part of the “surgical standard of care.”

Jackson Medical seems well on its way to that goal. To date, its product has been used in 140,000 surgeries across the US.



You may not have heard of Aware Custom Biometric Wearables yet. But the Atlanta-based team is making a lot of noise in the world of auditory innovation. Aware has devices that combat hearing loss and bring biometric technology to the ear.

Most people are familiar with wearable sensing technology found in a smart watch or ring. But Sam Kellett, Jr., Aware’s CEO, told Hypepotamus that customer hearing protection is crucial in military, industrial, and healthcare settings. Creating custom in-ear wearables is no easy task since every person’s ear is unique and difficult to fully map. However, such custom pieces open up opportunities for more accurate tracking of a person’s vitals.

Aware’s technology has a global reach. But Kellett said it is an advantage to build in Atlanta, particularly around hiring the necessary mechanical engineering and AI talent.

Hypepotamus got a chance to see Aware’s technology in action


The city is home to other impressive venture-backed medical device teams, like Oxos Medical (handheld X-ray machines), Ethos Medical (manufacturing guided needle insertion tools), and Dr. Noze Best (a pedestrian-approved nasal suction tool).

2024 is set to be a definitive year for the local medical device startup scene. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a leader in pediatric innovation across the region, will open its new campus later this year. Much-needed laboratory space will soon be opening up in Science Square on the Westside of town. Both these developments could help put even more MedTech startups on the map across the region.